M-I-C (see you real soon) K-E-Y (Why? Because we like you) M-O-U-S-E

Well we have finally picked and planned our holiday vacation and off to Disney World we go. Yes, we all know Ruby is a bit young and probably won’t enjoy the adventure as much as mom and dad… but practically all of the hotels in Hawaii were booked and something about Disney and the holidays go hand in hand. So we leave Christmas morning and return New Years Day. I can’t imagine a better way to spend Ruby’s first Christmas than in a world where dreams come true. And we’ll get to visit my something-removed-cousin and her family (of which I never met – but I believe we discovered our great-grandfather’s were brothers) and visit my dearest of friends from childhood (and adult) Lori and her family with her latest addition of Joshua who is only a few days old now. And then of course, we’ll get to introduce Ruby to her Great-Great Aunt. I only wish her Great-Great Uncle was around to meet. There are certainly days I miss him and I’m positive he would have gotten a kick out of Little Miss Ruby.

But that’s all to come in the next few weeks… first we have Thanksgiving – which we’re looking forward to. Hosting a small gathering, but always one I love to host. Thank goodness I have family recipes so I can still enjoy what little remains of the family who won’t be with us.

This past weekend we kicked off our holiday spirit and visted with friends in Peoria. One of my most favorite friends from college, Danielle and her husband, Andrew invited us – so a 3.5 hour drive later we found ourselves, with pups and baby, in a hotel for two nights to practice our family vacation. We packed like we were staying for a week – empty bottles ready to go so we didn’t have to clean them while we were there – the exersaucer – broken down to fit in the car and then rebuilt, etc. – the mamaroo that fit perfectly next to Ruby’s carseat in the backseat. Really, we brought a lot – I’m surprised we all fit in the car. But the trip was AMAZING. Ruby slept (like a baby, duh), she was so well behanved the entire trip – the pups were comfortable in the “suite” and we had such a great visit with friends.  One of the highlights would be at the mall Danielle works as an accountant for. They started the mall’s holiday season with the lighting of their Grand Christmas tree, visiting with Santa, a DJ, free hot chocolate and cookies and then a giant rocking horse, of which we OBVIOUSLY had to ride! Ha. Here are some cute photos and some video we took of a few adventures… they are not edited videos, but some are FUNNY. Take a look for yourself!

Hanging out in the hotel. Ruby was giving me a run down of her Christmas list before she met Santa to ask him herself.

Here Ruby is meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus. She’s a little non-chalant about it, but inside I know she’s screaming “Santa! I know him!” (a little Elf throwback for those who don’t know)

Our family with the Claus’.

This would be Ruby hanging out in the hotel, eating mommy’s cookie. Notice Daddy’s sneeze and how it makes her jump!

This is the kickoff of Christmas – the lighting of the tree!

This would be us heading up to the rocking horse:

Earlier that day we had lunch and ice-cream… where Ruby had her first taste of all that is right in the world:

Then this is when Ruby finally met THE MAN:

And finally, here is Ruby getting a kick out of, well, kicking and fighting Daddy!

Lots of fun – and can’t wait to share more pics of the holiday seasons to come. Ruby, Don and I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. There is a lot to be thankful for this year and we certainly recognize to appreciate what we do have and help those who are without.

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